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Dime Store Games: Magnetic Skater

This magnetic toy works like magic: In this winter wonderland scene, an ice skater glides around on a greeting card frozen pond.

Photography: David Sawyer

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2000


To make this handheld toy, small magnets were glued onto the ice skating figure's back and onto a short stick so she could be steered from underneath. This dreamy skating scene is displayed in a jewelry-store cardboard gift box.

Get the how-tos for more Dime Store Games.


  • Postcard or greeting card

  • Scissors

  • Small box

  • Skating figure

  • Glue

  • Heavy paper

  • Small magnets

  • Stick or silver pencil

  • Cotton

  • Clear plastic

  • Utility knife

  • Bookbinding tape

  • Artificial snow spray paint


  1. For the background, use an old or new postcard or greeting card, trimmed to fit the box. Photocopy a figure in your card.

  2. Glue photocopied figure onto heavier paper, and cut out; glue a small magnet on the back. Glue another small magnet onto a stick of wood or shiny silver pencil, which will move the skater around from beneath the box. (Be sure to position sides of two magnets so they don't repel each other.) Put cotton "snow" in bottom of box.

  3. Some gift boxes come with clear plastic lids. If yours doesn't, make your own: Measure box height and width. Then measure height of sides; add that to height and width. Have heavy plastic cut to the larger measure. With a utility knife, score plastic at lines of smaller measure. Gently fold down all four sides to make lid.

  4. Decorate lid: Apply artificial snow to plastic window -- we sprayed around an oval for an old-fashioned look. Place lid over box, and seal with bookbinding tape.

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